Antimony


Welding, press characters
Lead batteries
Infrared detectors
Make-up

Antimony is used metallurgically as an additive element since the physical properties of the element are not suitable for engineering applications. Its most important use is as an alloying constituent for lead and lead-base alloys to impart hardness and stiffness, and to improve the corrosion resistance. It is also used as an alloying ingredient for tin alloys to produce pewter, and tin-base babbits for bearing metal applications. The element is also used in cable covering, castings, solder, etc.

The trioxide is used in the preparations of medicine, in dye mordants and for staining dull finishes on iron and copper hardware.

Antimony sulfide is used in vulcanizing rubber, as a vermilion pigment and other pigment shades such as yellow, formed by slow oxidation of the sulfide, and the blue by mixing the yellow with other pigments. It is also used to a lesser extent in fireworks, ammunition primers, tracer bullets and metals.

Antimony of purity exceeding 99,999% is used in semiconductor technology. This material may be produced by the reduction of high purity compounds such as trioxide and chloride with hydrogen.

Important III-V compounds such as AlSb, InSb and GaSb are made from high purity antimony. These compounds may be used as infrared detectors, diodes and Hall effect devices. The compound in this group with the biggest technological importance is InSb. Antimony with a purity of 99,99 % is an important alloying ingredient in Bi2Te3 - type alloys which can be used as thermoelectric coolers or power generators.